Last Monday the WordPress.com blog announced that the popular WordPress.com theme Cutline was being replaced with an updated (but very similar) theme with more options called Coraline. The new Coraline theme features theme settings and controls similar to the recently released Twenty Ten theme, also from Automattic.
The theme update was met with praise and excitement by users in the announcement post, although a number were frustrated that the change in theme came with no warning, and in some cases, caused issues with widgets and theme settings.
Ian Stewart put up a great post this week called The Future of WordPress Themes 2009. He put up a post in the same vein last year, and it has now become a welcome regular look into what theme developers see happening with WordPress in the upcoming year.
By the way, aren't those clouds behind Ian's logo awesome?
Since my response would have been a bit too much to add to a comment field, I’m including my thoughts on the topic here at Theme Playground. First, though, my favorite responses from Ian’s list:
- Andrew Rickmann talked about theme developers working together to benefit the whole of the WordPress theme community (something I’ve definitely all about), as well as themes built with HTML 5 beginning to rear their heads.
- Andrea of WPMU predicted that 2009 will be a year when WPMU and BuddyPress themes will make a jump forward in popularity and producation. After developing sites with WPMU and BuddyPress, I personally can’t wait to get a decent BuddyPress theme together for release. She’s dead on target with that one.
- Justin Tadlock has predicted a high number of niche themes being developed in 2009, as well as widgets beginning to break out of the “sidebar”.
- Ashley Morgan spoke out on the ethical/legal implications of “premium” themes (I hate having to call them that), which is itself a discussion I think worth returning to another day.
Now, I’d like to add my own thoughts to the mix.